How to run your country in ten easy steps


White House Front

1. Put out of touch, wealthy people in charge. Leave them in charge for a long time so they’ll have lots of power be more effective.

2. Allocate unlimited funds for arms and war.

3. Allocate unlimited funds for saber-rattling with other countries.

4. Allocate copious funds for relief in other countries.

5. Whenever the budget runs low from steps  2-4, stop paying the hard-working ancillary people in the government and call it a “government shutdown.” Keep paying the wealthy people in charge.

6. Limit  and periodically cut funds for education. Give it a fancy name like “sequester” so it sounds serious. Make schools struggle with limited means and then cry incompetence when students do poorly in comparison with those in other countries.

7. When the poorly performing students grow up and are unable to support themselves financially,  make them dependent upon government entitlements for their food, income and health care.

8. Whenever the budget runs low, cut the entitlements that you’ve made your citizens dependent upon in step 7.

9. Legalize gambling, tobacco, lottery tickets and marijuana, so the poor citizens who lack education and income will have some way to comfort themselves over their miserable situation, thus ensuring continued poverty, unemployment, obesity, and poor health. Then cut funding for unemployment and health care and decry the rising obesity rates in your country.

10. Repeat these steps annually, while periodically decrying  the poor state of the country and the government deficit.

Bonus step: Have the people in charge periodically pass laws that irritate the masses so they will have less time to feel  miserable about the state of their country. Things like limiting light bulb wattage and shower head flow and making people take off their shoes in airports work best.

 

© Huffygirl 2013

Title IX turns 40


I grew up before there was Title IX, graduating from high school the year before Title IX became law. What was it like back then (okay, way, way back then) for girls and women in average small town America? Where I lived, there were no high school sports for girls. If you wanted to “play” a sport, you could be a cheerleader. Except, you had to be cute, little, peppy and popular. That left out me, and most everyone else.

What to wear? There was very little sports apparel made for women. No sport’s bras  – not invented until 1975, and not perfected until much later. No athletic shoes – unless you count good old canvas sneakers, aka Keds. The only women’s sport’s apparel widely available (besides those darn cute cheerleader outfits) were for sports that highlighted individual women, who needed to look good while playing. You know – tennis, golf, swimming. Individual sports that required fancy equipment and lessons, so not open to just anyone.

Even though many of us did not benefit from Title IX in childhood, we all benefit today. Now women’s athletic gear is widely available to everyone, from  the pros to the weekend warriors. I even have a women’s specific bike AND a women’s specific tire pump. Women can compete in most sports in the professional and amateur levels. Women are no longer relegated to just being peppy cheerleaders, that is, unless they want to.When you watch the Olympics this year, think about the US women competitors who benefited from Title IX.

Huffygirl, all decked out in women’s athletic gear

I will not forget


Today I did something I seldom do – I turned off my NPR station and basked in silence. Silence as I went about the house, doing the mundane tasks of life, that I usually find easier accompanied by the varied commentary of NPR. But not today. I had had enough. The refreshed grief was finally too much. All week I had listened to remembrances of 9-11 as the anniversary of that horrible day draws near. The stories were heartfelt and poignant. I sobbed as I brushed my teeth and dressed for work as a father shared the loss of his two firefighter sons. Big fat tears fell as I plugged in the toaster and opened jam, while I relived the loss of Father Mychal Judge. It’s not that these stories are not important – they are. We must never forget that horrible day, because if we forget, we will lose the memory of these everyday heroes and what they stood for. But this was too much. Every day it was like picking off the scab of just healed grief over and over and over again.  

Everyone remembers in their own way. Everyone brings respect  as they see fit. I do not need to shackle myself to grief, in order to bring honor or memory.  I revere the heroes of that day. I mourn for the losses our people have endured. But I will mourn and remember in the silence. And I will never forget.

© Huffygirl 2011

Happy 4th of July


Here’s a July 4th salute to the red, white and blue from my garden!

Photo notes:

1. Perennial lilies.

2. White astilbes.

3. Blue Clematis, Durandii.

4. Pansies, lobelia, dahlias in window box with bunting.

5. Black petunia, yellow zinnia, white petunias, planter.

6. Early pansies and flags.

© Huffygirl 2011